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Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes

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Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
April 30, 2012 07:58PM
This weekend, with some helpful pink-bird beta, I decided to do an overnight trip to the Quarter Domes.

(Warning: long posting. TL;DR version: No snow until 9000', camped on Clouds Rest, clouds covered everything, Quarter Domes great, wonderful trip!)

The ascent to Little Yosemite Valley was uneventful, except that the gate for the upper part of the Mist Trail was still closed. (Editorial: for no good reason.) After a lunch break in LYV, I continued chugging along the mostly forested trail. Although the Quarter Domes were my original destination, by the time I was at the "turn off the trail here" point, the day was still young and winter was no where to be found, so I continued climbing. At 8200', some open granite sprinkled with Sierra Junipers provided some nice views--and the obvious route to the Quarter Domes the next day.



Near 9000', where there's a wonderful open area with excellent views, more junipers, and eroded rock formations (I was reminded of the summit of Hoffman and the Double Rock area...), I hit the first "significant" snow.



While this open area would have made a fine campsite, I decided to push onward. The snow got thicker, and while it was mostly compacted, there was just enough infrequent postholing to make things interesting.



Somewhere around 5:10 I summited... and first realized the extent of the clouds/fog invading the valley below.



There was no "suitable" (highly subjective criteria) place to camp on the summit, so I found a nice rocky perch just south of the summit that provided some protection from the breezes, one where I could almost dangle my feet over the edge of Clouds Rest.



While preparing dinner and setting up camp, I watched the clouds roll in--more like fog--and cover everything except the top of Half Dome, Sentinel Dome, Mt. Starr King, and a few higher points around the Valley. The makeshift Twinkie bird trap didn't work... too many clouds?



Sunset was, well, wonderful:



(Amateur radio geek-out intermission: from my campsite I was able to talk with my wife using a 2-watt HT via the Mt. Diablo 2-meter repeater. Of course, we arranged this little QRP QSO using two satellite-based communication networks, but still...)

The night was mild for being almost at 10,000', but there was a cool breeze in the morning. The clouds were gone, and after a quick breakfast and packing up, I returned to the summit for more views.



The descent was uneventful, and the snow was much more supportive. I left the trail at the end of the first major switchback below 9000' to begin the easy x/c stroll among Sierra Junipers to the Quarter Domes.



The top of the Eastern Quarter Dome was as nice as "advertised", with excellent views into Tenaya Canyon and of the other three-quarters domes to the south.





Just south of the western QD was a small sliver of a dome that jutted out into Tenaya Canyon--maybe a sixteenth of a dome or so?



After exploring this small dome, I cut into the forest to intersect the Half Dome trail--very odd to see such a worn trail almost completely without people. I suspect the cables will be up soon and it will revert to being a hiker freeway...

Many More Pictures
avatar Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
April 30, 2012 08:30PM
Wow, I wonder if the posts for the cables are soon to be installed on 80% Dome. Never figured it would be that clear yet on the north side.
avatar Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
April 30, 2012 08:45PM
Beautiful pictures, thanks for posting them!

That chick-on trap looks like its rotting w/ each passing week. I didn't think the petro-chemicals in Twinkees[tm] allowed rot, how is this possible?
avatar Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
April 30, 2012 09:07PM
Quote
basilbop

Near 9000', where there's a wonderful open area with excellent views, more junipers, and eroded rock formations (I was reminded of the summit of Hoffman and the Double Rock area...), I hit the first "significant" snow.



Man! Some people just go overboard in creating cairns!

I guess whoever created these three didn't want them to get knocked down. wink

(And thanks for posting this excellent trip report!)

.
avatar Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
April 30, 2012 09:07PM
Thank you for posting your trips. As I mentioned to you already... it was pretty wild how quickly the
"fog" rolled in. Within maybe 1/2 hour it went from very pretty clouds to completely socked in.
I thought I smelled some treats to the east... maybe close by Sierra Pt. and way up high.
I woke up the next morning to a gorgeous day... and found a, hahahahahaha, "trap" nearby.
Thing is... these things, which I love to run into... are like taking Twinkies from a Hatchling.
Let me demonstrate:
Step 1: Find Trap and carefully wiggle under and grab Twinkie with Beakie:


Step 2: Laugh and revel in the success:


Keep on Try-on
Chick-on is looking at you!



Picasa Pictures
Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 06:50AM
Great report. This may be a dumb question, but please indulge me as I am a car camper, I am assuming a bear canister is carried on a trip like that?
avatar Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 07:05AM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Great report. This may be a dumb question, but please indulge me as I am a car camper, I am assuming a bear canister is carried on a trip like that?

The answer lies above... Or in the included set o photos...

The question is actually not entirely dumb. Since there are times you don't actually need one.... but there are
parameters w/r to that and most people don't want to go out there and that high and camp at that time
of year.



Picasa Pictures
Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 02:14PM
Quote
chick-on
Quote
hotrod4x5
Great report. This may be a dumb question, but please indulge me as I am a car camper, I am assuming a bear canister is carried on a trip like that?

The answer lies above... Or in the included set o photos...

The question is actually not entirely dumb. Since there are times you don't actually need one.... but there are
parameters w/r to that and most people don't want to go out there and that high and camp at that time
of year.
Because of the elevation, bears are not a concern?
Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 02:45PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Because of the elevation, bears are not a concern?

Yosemite generally requires canisters at all elevations, although the odds of encountering a bear at high elevations in winter are low. Note: some rangers have told me canisters are not needed in winter; e.g. while snow-camping, but others have said they are always required.

While there was probably a near-zero chance of a bear encounter on Clouds Rest, there was also a non-zero chance that I would end up camping someplace lower, and the area north of LYV is a problem bear area. All the signs along the Half Dome trail had warnings for *day hikers* to be within arms' reach of their food if it wasn't in a canister.
avatar Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 02:48PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Because of the elevation, bears are not a concern?
Well, yes, generally speaking. But it's much more complicated than that.
Bears would not be a concern in wintertime conditions above a certain elevation.
Specifically you need to be hiking with skis or snowshoes (and have to use them),
and be above 7200 ft. and it be after Dec. 15h and before March 30th.
Last year there was no snow to speak of so you would have needed one for
much of that period, if not all.
If you don't take a can they still require you to hang your food. (not counterbalanced though)



Picasa Pictures
avatar Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 07:10AM
Thank you again for the set of photos. I personally signed a few of them for you.
Of course you just made some more work for me. Although I suspect that perhaps
there is a Benchmarker along that little gem you pointed out.
w/r to the route... you didn't listen entirely... now you have to go back and follow... smiling smiley
I presume you bypassed Upper and Lower Pinnacles. Not surprised... it's a
heck of a climb and worth every ounce of effort. Especially early.
If you do it again and can... I highly recommend go all the way over Clouds and
come back the lower trail. Follow the ridge along the pinnacles either up or down.
One last question... do you have a sweet photo of Starr poking thru the clouds?
Thanks



Picasa Pictures
Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 07:10PM
Quote
chick-on
Thank you again for the set of photos. I personally signed a few of them for you.
Of course you just made some more work for me. Although I suspect that perhaps
there is a Benchmarker along that little gem you pointed out.
w/r to the route... you didn't listen entirely... now you have to go back and follow... smiling smiley
I presume you bypassed Upper and Lower Pinnacles. Not surprised... it's a
heck of a climb and worth every ounce of effort. Especially early.
If you do it again and can... I highly recommend go all the way over Clouds and
come back the lower trail. Follow the ridge along the pinnacles either up or down.
One last question... do you have a sweet photo of Starr poking thru the clouds?

I have to go back? Darn! I thought about going to the ridge between the pinnacles and the summit, but the snow there wasn't fun: five or six steps of floating on snow followed by a leg-deep posthole, repeat... The next morning, the snow was almost ice, and I hadn't brought spikes or snowshoes, so I retraced my footsteps--literally...

You mean a benchmark on the "1/16th dome" thingie? There isn't one indicated on the map, but I guess you never know.

I didn't get many pix of Starr King, but here's a few:



avatar Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 09:51PM
Thank you. I love Mt. Starr King.
w/r to Benchmark I was referring to your photo #1 in the set.
I know there is at least 1 on the connector from JMT to Mist. I have a picture
of one... but not sure exactly where it was taken anymore... I thought it
was right by the Vernal overlook ... but it doesn't show there on the 1970 map.
I presume that is approx. where you are talking w/r to the old trail.

Here's the wife on 1/16 dome (love it) from April 9th:


Keep xploring
Chick-on is looking at you!



Picasa Pictures
Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 05, 2012 10:10AM
I love this shot, the snow, the footprints, the man.
avatar Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 04:01PM
Quote
basilbop

My brain had a hard time wrapping itself around what was happening in this shot. It's an incredible sight. Thanks for the report



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dqniel/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/01/2012 04:02PM by dqniel.
Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 02, 2012 04:19PM
Some awesome photos; but the fog shots and looking down the face of CR lie somewhere between insane and epic.



Gary Crabbe
Enlightened Images

"Nearness to Nature keeps the Spirit sensitive to impressions not commonly felt, and in touch with unseen powers." - Oyihesa; Santee Dakota indian, from his book, Soul of the Indian (1911)
Re: Clouds, Rest, and One and One-Sixteenth Domes
May 01, 2012 09:55PM
epic fog photos...wowsers
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